Friday, June 24, 2016

Linocut in Progress: Blue, blue, blue

And then more blue.

The image I'm working on is inspired by a photo I took several winters ago on the Phantom Canyon road below Cripple Creek. I like the pattern of light and dark in the photo, but the camera recorded the shadows as a single, flat blue. Okay in a photo, boring in a linocut.

So my goal is to print some variety, but I'm scratching my head over which bits to take out when.

Step 2, easy enough:

Looking okay, but the blue feels a little bright. For the next pass I took the scraps of this color and added some burnt sienna (color turned greenish) and purple (back towards a grayed-down blue).

As you can see, the ink is very transparent. Just in case you haven't noticed yet: I love transparent color.

Step 3 printed:

I definitely like the color and value of this pass, but I'm still not ready to chop out huge sections of shadow. So I carved out a few more small areas, added a wee bit more violet to the existing ink, and printed again. Step 4:

This particular pass was done in front of a live studio audience... sort of. I needed some new process shots for a presentation I'm doing next month, so a friend came over to take some photos while I worked. I rather liked this "reveal" image with a little Instagram filter effect. (Which... surprise! Is now in my Instagram feed.)

Reduction linocut color pass #4 reveal
So what's next? More blue, I'm afraid. But first I have to frame up some wee Bitty Birds for this weekend's Salida Art Walk. Yes, I DID do some before now... but the gallery just sent a message that they sold a couple today, so I need to replenish before tomorrow night. A good problem to have!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Linocut in Progress: How deadlines are like math and escapism looks like tango

I did promise that you would be the first to know if I managed to get any ink on paper before I left town again... and I did so you do. Know. Now. You know now. Now know? Whatever. Next sentence, please.

Step 1: As-yet-untitled snow scene, reduction linocut

There is not much to see with just one color printed (and a weird light effect across the middle of the photo), but even so I think it's obvious where it's headed.

It probably seems a wee bit odd to be working on a winter scene in the middle of a heat wave. But then again, maybe not.

I am reminded of my first job when I was in high school: retail clothing sales. I spent many hours stocking (rabbit fur, ugh!) coats in July and swimsuits in February. This piece, hopefully, is bound for an exhibition next January... which needs the first image for the website in September... and I'll be away all of July and half of August. It's like those dreaded "story problems" we faced in junior high math classes:

"If Sherrie is headed to Maine for the summer and is required to deliver a new piece by September for an exhibition in January, how fast is the train traveling that just left New York?"

With everything that's going on right now (my to-do-before-Maine list crept up to 96 items) I was forced to undertake the only practical response. I ran away from home as soon as I hung the freshly-printed linos on the drying rack, and I spent Saturday dancing tango in New Mexico.

Milonga at Two Moon Tango, Santa Fe

Tango and I only met last autumn, and I was the least experienced dancer in the room for the Saturday night milonga. But as with most things that are worth doing, the only way to improve is to just take a deep breath and work at it, so I'm pushing aside my awkwardness and insecurity as best I can and enjoying the challenge and escape of an activity that uses a different part of my brain (and which isn't hard on my wrist and elbow and neck!).

But now it's Monday morning, so I'm home again and back to The List. I've carved out (get it?) printing time this afternoon, so despite our hot weather forecast I'll be thinking "cool." Put on your sunglasses, grab your piña coladas and your beach balls and stay tuned for more snow-influenced printing.

Friday, June 17, 2016

If it's Friday it must be.....

Yep. I've stooped to cliché titles. My brain is too full of other things to be even remotely clever just now.

There IS lino-cutting happening, albeit slowly and with many disruptions.

I was on the road for five days last week, for the Animalia exhibition at the Loveland Museum (show runs through August 21) and to give a short workshop for the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies in Allenspark. While I was out I visited some galleries and spent many hours parked in a WIFI-enabled coffee shop writing materials for other upcoming workshops and programs.

Since I returned I've been up to my eyeballs in framing, packing, and shipping work to collectors and galleries and exhibitions. Today I tried to print out the materials for one of my workshops and instead spent entirely too much time troubleshooting a cranky printer and then running out of ink. (And the one place in town that carries it was OUT, of course.) Plenty of other things to do instead, but it would have been nice to tick this particular task off my to-do list.

Oh, yes. The glamorous life of the artist, who spends her days sipping cognac, discussing Proust, and creating only as the muse strikes.


Don't get me wrong. I'm quite aware of how fortunate I am to be involved in all of these activities! But, ooph... it sure would be nice to push some real ink for a bit. Of course I'm headed out of town again for a few days, but perhaps I can sneak in some press time before I go. If I do, you'll be the first to know!

In the meantime... Denver-area peeps can check out the Landscape show at Abend Gallery, and Salida-area peeps can get ready for Salida ArtWalk. 'Cause there's a reason for all this running around, after all!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Linos and road trips and shows, oh my!

I've been on the road a LOT the last few weeks, a circumstance that will continue right up until I leave for my annual trek to Maine in early July. Yesterday I talked a friend in to joining me on a delivery run to Oh Be Joyful Gallery in Crested Butte, just over the Continental Divide from Salida. Well, maybe it's not just over the Divide. It's about a 90-minute drive via Highway 50 over Monarch Pass... but the even-more-beautiful trip over Cottonwood Pass is longer and slower. Guess which way we came home?

Afternoon clouds gathering over Crested Butte South

Crested Butte is famous for its amazing wildflowers (and wildflower festival in July), but of course it's early June, so the bloom has barely started. We did see lots of fields of fading larkspur surrounded by more dandelions than I've ever encountered. They were really quite beautiful.

Dandelions and larkspur, aspen and the edge of the Crested Butte

Cottonwood Pass has only recently opened for the season, as snow lingers long and deep at its 12,126-foot summit. The road is dirt for the last 14 miles of the approach from the west side, which is why I was so happy that the rain held off until we were maybe 3 or 4 miles from the top. It can get really slippery really fast up there.

Looking back towards Taylor Reservoir on the Cottonwood Pass climb.
Rain is definitely coming.
Plenty of snow left on the top, although the rain will melt it quickly.

On the east side of the pass ("my" side) the road is paved, so the rainy descent was no problem.

Whew! Another trip checked off the list. But in just two days I'll be off AGAIN... to......

"Shower with a Friend," reduction linocut, @Sherrie York

The opening of the exhibition Animalia, at the Loveland Museum in Loveland, Colorado. I'll be there both for the museum's Member Preview on June 9 and for the public opening on June 10. I have two linocuts in this show, including an old favorite: the last remaining "Shower with a Friend." (If you have "always wanted one" this could be your last chance!)

From Loveland I'll head to Estes Park for a couple of days, in part to give a short workshop for the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. After that I'll return home for a couple of days and then leave AGAIN... but thinking about that too far ahead just makes me more tired.

Believe it or not, there IS a linocut on the carving table. This afternoon I'll get paper set up for it, and maybe print the first color tomorrow before I'm on the road again.

Linocut in Progress: (Lucky 13th) Final Step

 I am off next week to head up the Arts & Birding session at Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine , so I have been feeling the pressure to w...